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In-Person Seminar

IN-HOUSE 2-Day Conference: Play Therapy: Engaging Powerful Techniques for the Treatment of Disruptive Behavior Disorders and Trauma

Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S
2 Full Days
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Brochure Code:
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In-Person Seminar
Butte, Montana



Childhood Disruptive Behavior Disorders are on the rise! Tantrums, anger, defiance, threatening behavior …

How can we as therapists more effectively decrease acting-out behaviors and help repair, rebuild and create strong parent-child relationships?

Join me, Clair Mellenthin, expert in child and family trauma and attachment, as we dive into the impact of Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder on children, teens, and their families. You’ll learn effective, powerful, evidence-based play therapy interventions including guided imagery, mindfulness, expressive arts, and sandtray play – all of which include parent-child relationship enhancement activities.

This workshop will show you how:

  • the impact of attachment plays a role in the etiology in childhood disruptive behavior disorders
  • to utilize attachment-centered play therapy techniques to treat these diagnoses in children
  • to strengthen parent-child relationships
  • to improve overall self-esteem and confidence – giving the child tools to control their challenging symptoms and help heal the family system.

Register today to explore the power of play therapy – and incorporate these strategies into your mental health practices with young clients and their families!


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.

* Credit Note - *

NOTE: Tuition includes one free CE Certificate. For the in-person event, after attendance has been verified, pre-registered attendees will need to log into their online account to complete the online evaluation (and, if applicable for your profession, the online post-test with 80% passing score). Instructional methods will include PowerPoint, didactic lecture, Q&A, and others. After completion of the evaluation (and post-test, if applicable), participants can download/print their certificate of completion. For those in partial attendance (arrived late or left early), a letter of attendance will be available in the attendee online account after completion of the evaluation and online post-test (if the test is required for your profession). An adjusted certificate of completion reflecting partial credit will be sent within 30 days (if your board allows).

Continuing Education Information: Credits listed below are for full attendance at the live, in-person event only. If your profession is not listed, please contact your licensing board to determine your continuing education requirements and check for reciprocal approval. For other credit inquiries not specified below, please contact or 800-844-8260 before the event.

Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of your profession.  As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your profession's standards.

For Planning Committee disclosures, please see below.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.

Counselors - Counselors

This activity consists of 12.5 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. Please save the course outline, the certificate of completion you receive from the activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements.

Counselors - Montana Counselors

The Montana Board of Behavioral Health no longer pre-approves any courses or sponsors. Each licensee is responsible for taking courses which contribute to their competence and directly relate to their scope of practice as defined in board statute (MAR 24-219-32). Licensees must keep CE documentation for three years in case of an audit. This intermediate level activity consists of 12.5 clock hours of instruction.

Social Workers - Social Workers (NASW)

This live program is approved by the National Association of Social Workers (Approval #886759332-3325 ) for 12.5 continuing education contact hours in Clinical Social Work.

Social Workers - Social Workers

PESI, Inc., #1062, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. PESI, Inc. maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: January 27, 2023 - January 27, 2026. Social workers completing this course receive 12.75 Clinical continuing education credits.


Course Level: Intermediate Format: In-person.  Full attendance is required; no partial credits will be offered for partial attendance.


Canadian Social Workers: Canadian provinces may accept activities approved by the ASWB for ongoing professional development.

Marriage & Family Therapists - Marriage & Family Therapists

This activity consists of 760 minutes of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. Please save the activity advertisement, the certificate of completion you receive from the activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements. 

Marriage & Family Therapists - Montana Marriage & Family Therapists

The Montana Board of Behavioral Health no longer pre-approves any courses or sponsors. Each licensee is responsible for taking courses which contribute to their competence and directly relate to their scope of practice as defined in board statute (MAR 24-219-32). Licensees must keep CE documentation for three years in case of an audit. This intermediate level activity consists of 12.5 clock hours of instruction.

Other Professions

This activity qualifies for 760 continuing education minutes as required by many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations. Save your activity advertisement and certificate of completion, and contact your own board or organization for specific requirements. 



Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S's Profile

Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S Related seminars and products

Clair Mellenthin, LLC

Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S, is an international speaker, author, psychologist, and Registered Play Therapist Supervisor. Throughout her career, she has specialized in providing play therapy to children, teens, and their families. She is currently the Director of Child & Adolescents at Wasatch Family Therapy. Ms. Mellenthin frequently presents professional play therapy and family therapy trainings on Attachment-Centered Play Therapy, Family, and Trauma issues both nationally and internationally.

Ms. Mellenthin is a sought-after supervisor, training graduate students and interns in play therapy, and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Southern California MSW program. She is the past-president of the Utah Association for Play Therapy and remains an active member on the Board of Directors. She is the author of the books Attachment Centered Play Therapy; Play Therapy: Engaging & Powerful Techniques for the Treatment of Childhood Disorders; My Many Colors of Me Workbook and has authored several chapters and articles. In addition to being an experienced play therapist and professor, Ms. Mellenthin also appears on local and national TV and radio as an expert on children and family issues. She holds a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Clair Mellenthin has an employment relationship with Wasatch Family Therapy. She is a published author and receives royalties. Clair Mellenthin receives a speaking honorarium, recording royalties, and book royalties from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Clair Mellenthin is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the American Psychological Association, and the Association for Play Therapy.


  1. Assess emotional and behavioral symptoms through play therapy techniques to better inform treatment outcomes.
  2. Determine the ethical implications and clinical limitations of using play therapy in clinical practice.
  3. Integrate attachment-based play activities into your practice to improve client engagement in treatment.
  4. Determine the neurobiological implications of using play therapy among clients with various diagnoses.
  5. Develop a plan for introducing play therapy into clinical practice for treatment resistant and challenging children and families.
  6. Defend how play therapy can reframe trauma experiences, increase self-regulation and connect to a mind-body awareness.
  7. Develop attachment patterns that impact parent-child relationships to further advance your clinical practice.
  8. Employ play therapy interventions to foster engagement with parents in family play therapy in order to repair, and enhance the parent-child relationship.
  9. Apply mindfulness skills and practice in play therapy treatment to promote self-soothing and affect regulation.
  10. Assess the psychological impact and long-term effects of emotional trauma on a client’s mental health.
  11. Develop treatment strategies to teach attachment-focused parenting techniques.
  12. Practice expressive arts, sandtray, and child-centered play therapy interventions to enhance engagement with child clients.


Why Play Therapy Works
  • Therapeutic power of play
  • Facilities communication
  • Fosters emotional wellness
  • Enhances social relationships
  • Increases personal strengths
Assessment and Diagnosis
  • Common myths of behavior disorders
  • Systemic assessment of emotional and behavioral distress
    • School, home, and community relationships
    • Impact of inconsistent and harsh parenting/relationships practices
  • Race, gender, ethnicity, culture issues and bias
  • Trauma assessment
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Recurrent behavioral and relational patterns
  • Impact on the family system
  • Shame and vulnerability (in the family) – The Kryptonite!
    • Cycle of disconnect, rejection, and attachment ruptures
  • Environmental risk factors
Play Therapy Interventions to Combat Negative Behaviors
  • Play-based regulation and co-regulation techniques
    • Calm down jars
    • Lemon squeezies
    • Blast It!
    • Guided imagery
  • Repair and enhance relationships
    • Shame shields
    • Feeling monsters
Conduct Disorder Treatment
  • Misdiagnosis and misunderstandings
    • Gender and racial bias in diagnosis
  • Trauma history of the child
  • Impact of trauma on brain development and maladaptive coping response
  • Patterns of engagement in the home, school, and community
  • Impact on family relationships
Trauma Treatment
  • Etiology of trauma in disruptive behavior disorders
  • Impact on neurological functioning and development
  • PTSD – the most overlooked diagnosis contributing to Disruptive Behavior Disorders (DBD)
  • Assess for attachment ruptures and relational trauma
  • Shame-based punitive parenting
  • Repair and restore safety in the home
Play Therapy Interventions to Address Underlying Trauma
  • Increase emotional intelligence and understand trauma symptoms
    • Bound and rebound
    • Sandtray
    • Expressive arts in play
  • Repair and rebuild relationships
    • Nurturing spoons
    • Volcano inside of me
Play-Based Interventions to Promote Parent/Child Attachment
  • Building bridges of connection and communication
  • Create emotional safety
  • My safe place
  • Telling my story
  • My many colors of me
Inviting the Parent in the Playroom
  • Help the parent become a resource to their child
  • Decrease shame and vulnerability in the relationship
  • Improve healthy attachment-seeking behaviors
  • Repair attachment wounds and ruptures
  • Teach positive parenting strategies

Target Audience

  • Mental Health Clinicians
  • School Counselors
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Play Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists



Venue Name/Location Forthcoming

Please note this program will be in the city/state specified but an exact venue location has not been determined yet.

Butte, Montana, United States

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